nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The Effect of Physical Activity on Student Performance in College: An Experimental Evaluation By Fricke, Hans; Lechner, Michael; Steinmayr, Andreas
  2. Globalization and Executive Compensation By Wolfgang Keller; William W. Olney
  3. Job Displacement Risk and Severance Pay By Marco Cozzi
  4. Turbulence, Firm Decentralization and Growth in Bad Times By Aghion, Philippe; Bloom, Nicholas; Lucking, Brian; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
  5. Motivation, workout and performance - a model for amatorial sports By Mattera, Raffaele
  6. The Effects of Youth Labor Market Reforms: Evidence from Italian Apprenticeships By Albanese, Andrea; Cappellari, Lorenzo; Leonardi, Marco
  7. Relative Performance Information Feedback and Just-Pass Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Shinya Kajitani; Keiichi Morimoto; Shiba Suzuki

  1. By: Fricke, Hans; Lechner, Michael; Steinmayr, Andreas
    Abstract: What is the role of physical activity in the process of human capital accumu-lation? Brain research provides growing evidence of the importance of physical activity for various aspects of cognitive functions. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle could thus be not only harmful to population health, but also disrupt human capital accumulation. This paper analyzes the effects of on-campus recreational sports and exercise on educational outcomes of university students. To identify causal effects, we randomize financial incentives to encourage students' participation in on-campus sports and exercise. The incentives increased participation frequency by 0.26 times per week (47%) and improved grades by 0.14 standard deviations. This effect is primarily driven by male students and students at higher quantiles of the grade distribution. Results from survey data suggest that students substitute off-campus with on-campus physical activities during the day but do not significantly increase the overall frequency. Our findings suggest that students spend more time on campus and are better able to integrate studying and exercising, which may enhance the effectiveness of studying and thus improve student performance.
    Keywords: Human Capital; physical activity; randomized experiment; sports; student achievement
    JEL: C93 I12 I18 I23 J24
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Wolfgang Keller; William W. Olney
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of globalization in the rapid increase in top incomes. Using a comprehensive data set of thousands of executives at U.S. firms from 1993-2013, we find that exports, along with technology and firm size, have contributed to rising executive compensation. Isolating changes in exports that are unrelated to the executive's talent and actions, we show that globalization has affected executive pay not only through market channels but also through non-market channels. Furthermore, exogenous export shocks raise executive compensation mostly through bonus payments in poor-governance settings, in line with the hypothesis that globalization has enhanced the executive's rent capture opportunities. Overall, these results indicate that globalization has played a more central role in the rapid growth of executive compensation and U.S. inequality than previously thought, and that rent capture is an important part of this story.
    JEL: F14 J3
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Marco Cozzi (Department of Economics, University of Victoria)
    Abstract: This paper is a quantitative, equilibrium study of the insurance role of severance pay when workers face displacement risk and markets are incomplete. A key feature of our model is that,in line with an established empirical literature, job displacement entails a persistent fall in earnings upon re-employment due to the loss of tenure. The model is solved umerically and calibrated to the US economy.In contrast to previous studies that have analyzed severance payments in the absence of persistent earning losses, we find that the welfare gains from the insurance against job displacement afforded by severance pay are sizable.
    Keywords: Severance Payments, Incomplete Markets, Welfare
    JEL: E24 D52 D58 J65
    Date: 2016–03–29
  4. By: Aghion, Philippe; Bloom, Nicholas; Lucking, Brian; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
    Abstract: What is the optimal form of firm organization during "bad times"? Using two large micro datasets on firm decentralization from US administrative data and 10 OECD countries, we find that firms that delegated more power from the Central Headquarters to local plant managers prior to the Great Recession out-performed their centralized counterparts in sectors that were hardest hit by the subsequent crisis. We present a model where higher turbulence benefits decentralized firms because the value of local information and urgent action increases. Since turbulence rises in severe downturns, decentralized firms do relatively better. We show that the data support our model over alternative explanations such as recession-induced reduction in agency costs (due to managerial fears of bankruptcy) and changing coordination costs. Countries with more decentralized firms (like the US) weathered the 2008-09 Great Recession better: these organizational differences could account for about 16% of international differences in post-crisis GDP growth.
    Keywords: Decentralization; great recession; growth; turbulence
    JEL: F23 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Mattera, Raffaele
    Abstract: The previous literature has not devoted enough space to “motivation for training” issues, especially for amateur sports. Generally, is possible imagine some factors which influence motivation for training in professional sports like an high remuneration, fame, etc. However is more difficult find these motivation factors it in the amatorial context, because an amatorial player already has not a substantial remuneration, has a job beyond sports, etc. The main result of this paper is that a large number of players in a team encourage each other to work hard during training session. All based on the assumption that more workout brings to better performance.
    Keywords: motivation for training, amatorial sports, work motivation, workout motivation, sport
    JEL: Z0
    Date: 2017–05–20
  6. By: Albanese, Andrea (Ghent University); Cappellari, Lorenzo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Leonardi, Marco (University of Milan)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effects of the 2003 reform of the Italian apprenticeship contract which aimed at introducing the "dual system" in Italy by allowing on-the-job training. The reform also increased the age eligibility of the apprenticeship contract and introduced a minimum floor to apprentices' wages. Using administrative data and balancing techniques we find that five years after hiring, the new contract improves the chances of moving to a permanent job in the same firm, yet this happens mostly in large firms. There are also sizeable long-run wage effects of the reform, well beyond the legal duration of apprenticeships, compatible with increased human capital accumulation probably due to the training provisions of the reform.
    Keywords: apprenticeship, permanent work, youth employment, covariate balancing, propensity score
    JEL: J24 J41 C21
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Shinya Kajitani (Meisei University); Keiichi Morimoto (Meisei University); Shiba Suzuki (Seikei University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the feedback of performance information and effort input by students under a relative grading scheme. By conducting a randomized experiment in an economics course at a Japanese university, we demonstrate that relative performance information feedback improves the performance of students with only intermediate scores in the midterm examination, but worsens the performance of high-scoring students. A theoretical interpretation suggests that a decrease in uncertainty in the relative ability of students is responsible, which we refer to as “just-pass†behavior.
    Keywords: education, experiment, relative performance information feedback, tournaments
    JEL: D03 D81 I21
    Date: 2017–04

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